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  • Writer's pictureMarc Gonzalez

2023 Honda Civic Touring, rediscovering a classic.

The Honda Civic is a household name in the compact sedan market. This vehicle is known for being dependable and functional. With almost 30 million sold in the last 50 years, it is safe to say that it is a staple for the Japanese automaker. Let's revisit this iconic model. Our test model has an MSRP of $35,295 and is built at the Alliston, ON, plant.

Honda Civic Touring
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

The exterior design of the new generation of the Civic isn't a huge departure from the last generation, which started in 2015. The front grille's shape remains the same, but the headlights and fog lights have been smoothed out to match it better. The designers went from a more radical look to a more toned down, dare we say luxurious, design, and this philosophy change is even more apparent in the back. The taillights look more conventional, and gone are the black plastic parts on the bottom of the bumper; it all looks more streamlined and less aggressive. Any redesign will ruffle feathers among the diehard Civic fans. However, the final result is a more sophisticated product that almost reaches a luxury level while not being as flashy as the previous generation.

Inside the cabin, the Honda Civic has undergone essential upgrades to make the car as fresh as possible. On the driver's side, impossible to ignore the new fully digital 10.2-inch gauge cluster; with a sleek overview of the tachometer and speedometer with additional information inside both gauges, it's easy to read and operate. Everything is great about it except for one thing - there isn't a full-screen map. The steering wheel feels great, the leather is soft, and the buttons are easy to manipulate. Before moving on to the center console, just a word on the interior room. The Civic is a compact car, but the cabin is surprisingly large enough to drive four adults without too much compromise, and you also have decent trunk room, so it is family-friendly. The ISOFIX ports are indicated on the rear seats, thus making car seat installation quick and straightforward.

The infotainment unit has been redesigned, and the climate controls are independent of the 9-inch touchscreen. Speaking of the touchscreen, it works fine, but we were disappointed to find that neither Apple Carplay nor Android Auto was available wirelessly. This infotainment unit boasts a sizable screen and impressive audio capabilities, making it a reliable choice. Under the screen, you will find the climate vents with a different look. The same pattern from the vents stretches to the passenger's side; it's love-it or hate-it, depending on the person. You can find the climate controls below the vents, allowing you to easily view and adjust the temperature and fan speed whenever necessary. Everybody will appreciate this, so thank you,

You can get two engine options under the hood of the new Honda Civic. Most Civics will be equipped with a naturally aspirated i-VTEC 2.0L four-cylinder engine, following the path of the legendary technology at Honda for the last thirty years. You can also get the compact sedan with another four-banger, turbocharged 1.5L engine, which, in our case, delivers 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque to a CVT. There isn't a big difference between the base engine and the one found exclusively on the Touring trim; we're only talking about a 22hp increase and 39 lb-ft of torque. The acceleration time is about what you would expect, with a 0-100kph time of about 7.5 seconds. It's not the performance model; if you wish to be a little faster, you'll have to step up to the SI, albeit the Civic did have enough power in the pedal. One aspect where the compact offering from Honda shines is the steering, it's pretty well-calibrated, and you can easily maneuver the vehicle in tight spaces. The car is stable at high speeds, and it's easy to have some fun in twisty corners thanks to its excellent handling. While the suspension might not be the smoothest, and you may feel a few bumps on the road due to the low-profile tires, the Civic still offers an enjoyable driving experience that sets it apart from other cars in its class. Fuel economy is pretty good, too, we had an average of 8.1L/100km for the week, and on the highway, it gets as low as 6.

Honda Civic
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

The Civic is as good as an economy car can get. It offers plenty of room, good technology and decent performance on the road. Once you get used to the car's low height, there are hardly any reasons not to choose it. If you are worried about fuel economy, don't worry! The hybrid version is coming soon, for the first time in ten years, making the Honda Civic a versatile player in the compact sedan (and hatchback) segment.

Honda has lent us this vehicle as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Honda Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion.

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